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Eco-Friendly Totes

2014 State Legislation:

Sponsor(s): Sen. Bob Beach (D - Monongalia, 13) and Del. Randy Swartzmiller (D - Hancock, 01)

West Virginia: S.B. 428/H.B. 4393 to Ban Exotic "Pets"

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update: This bill was signed into law by the governor on March 25, 2014.

Bill description:
This bill would prohibit the private possession of all “wild and exotic animals." Exotic animals can include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fresh water fish that are not native wildlife, including hybrids. The bill delegates the responsibility of coming up with a comprehensive list to the Division of Natural Resources.

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Sponsor(s): Sen. Jeremy Nordquist (Non-partisan- 7)

Nebraska: L.B. 921 Would Ban the Shark Fin Trade

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Bill description:
This bill prohibits the possession, sale, offer for sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins in Nebraska. The penalty is a Class II misdemeanor.

Background:
Shark finning is a particularly cruel practice in which people cut the fins off live sharks and return their bodies to the water where the sharks inevitably die. The animals who are cast back into the ocean suffer slow, painful deaths by drowning or blood loss.

Shark finning does not threaten just a few sharks, but 73 million sharks every year worldwide. Many of these sharks are endangered species. Sharks reach maturity later in life than other fish and have small litters of offspring, making them highly susceptible to overfishing.

Shark fins are most commonly used in shark fin soup, an Asian dish that connotes wealth and status.

Take Action:
Nebraska residents, use this form to send a letter to the members of the Judiciary Committee, asking them to support the bill!

Read the bill text and follow its progress here.

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Sponsor(s): Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester)

New Hampshire: H.B. 1579 Trapping Regulations [2014]

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update (June 30, 2014): This bill was signed into law by Governor Maggie Hassan.

Update: This bill was weakened through amendments in the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee. These changes are reflected in the italicized portion of the bill description below.

Bill Description:
As originally introduced, this bill would have prohibited the use of any type of steel-jaw leghold or foothold trap, off-set or padded jaw trap, egg-trap, body-crushing conibear traps, tightening or non-tightening snares, or any similar traps. There would have been 4 exemptions to this prohibition:

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Sponsor(s): Sen. David Simmons (R-10) and Rep. Mike Clelland (D-29)

Florida: S.B. 540/H.B. 449 Would Ban the Shark Fin Trade [2014]

Update (May 2, 2014): This bill failed to pass before the 2014 session ended.
Update (March, 2014): Under pressure from the fishing industry, the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee significantly weakened S.B. 540 through amendments. See the italicized portion of the bill description below for details on these changes.

Bill description:
The amended version of this bill increases the penalties for fishers caught cutting the fins off sharks in state waters. It is now a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in prison for a first offense.

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Sponsor(s): Sen. Fred Risser (D-26) and Rep. Fred Clark (D-81)

Wisconsin: S.B. 93/A.B. 94: Banning the Use of Dogs in Wolf Hunts

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update: This bill died in April, 2014.

Bill Description:
This bill prohibits the use of dogs for hunting gray wolves. Wisconsin is the only state that permits this practice for wolf hunts.

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Thank you for your willingness to speak out for animal protection issues! Your voice has the power to help influence elected officials to improve the lives of countless animals. It's time to get involved, if you are not already.

Please be aware that our State Legislative webpages do not necessarily list every animal protection bill pending in the various state legislatures. If you are aware of a bill in your state that concerns wildlife or captive exotic animals that is not listed on our website, please contact legislation@bornfreeusa.org.

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